Rockland County, N.Y. District Attorney Thomas P. Zugibe has announced that Andre Tolentino of New City, N.Y. has been charged with one count of grand larceny in the third degree, a class “D” felony for acting as a legitimate mortgage broker to a couple that frequented the Bravo supermarket in which he was legitimately employed. In 2007, the defendant offered the victims help in securing a mortgage to purchase the home, which they were renting at the time.
According to the charges, Tolentino introduced the couple to a mortgage broker in New York City, to whom the family paid $10,000. Several months later, the victims paid an additional $15,000 dollars to the defendant—money he claimed was needed to finalize the loan. In this sham transaction, the couple was told to make the check payable to Tolentino’s wife.
During subsequent months, other payments were made to the defendant after the victims were told additional monies were needed to complete their loan. Tolentino is not a licensed mortgage broker and the victims never received the mortgage.
“This devious scheme kept the American Dream of homeownership out of reach for the hard-working victims," said District Attorney Zugibe. "This type of financial swindle will be fully prosecuted.”
Tolentino’s arrest resulted from an investigation conducted by the Rockland County Special Investigations Unit. If convicted, Tolentino faces seven years in prison.
For more information, visit http://rocklandcountyda.com.